She was yellow. That’s what I thought of the young lady who came running through the library. A yellow streak of woman moving with long legs and golden hair, a scarf tied around her neck flowing behind her. She hit the stairs and took them two at a time.
The police followed. They had guns drawn and were panting. People got out of their way as they shouted and one officer gave chase.
The plain clothes detective stood by the door and waited. He seemed calm, revolver resting on his thigh but ready. I took the long way around the circulation desk, raising my head to see if it was okay.
Detective Gerald Parker gave a nod and slipped his gun back into the holster at his belt, right next to the shield. I heard pounding feet on the wooden floor and the childish laughter.
“Put your damn gun away, you idiot,” Parker said as I got close. “Banned.”
“Parker. Who’s the girl?”
His eyes scanned the room and I stayed out of his way. “Stole a car with some other guy we got outside on the ground. Just stay out of the way and we’ll get her out of your hair.”
“No. Don’t think so. Just ran. Stand back.”
I was flush against the wall and could not be more back, but that’s just how Parker talked to me. We have issues.
More laughter and a scream.
“Anybody up there in the shelves?”
“No. Too early for the fiction folk. Your boy and her are alone.”
Books hit the floor and I winced. Sneakers squeaked on the floor.
“Any way down from there but the stairs?”
“Windows. Fire exit.”
I got the words out and the door alarm went off. Parker’s face soured and he muttered something under his breath and turned.
“Tell these folks we’re sorry about this. Don’t leave, I wanna talk to you later. You look like shit.” Saying it over his shoulder as he hit the door and rattled the window as he left.
I smiled and held my hands up to the old man who had not put down his paper and the mother crouching behind the easy books with two kids under her armpits.
“Police say they’re sorry. Should be over now,” loud enough to get over the droning sound of the door. I tried to make it sound like I did not mind, but I was tired and they were scared. They would calm down.
The fiction section was not as bad as I thought. I took out my keys and turned off the blaring alarm that made my head shake. Few books were on the floor, a little mess that could have been worse. Yellow canvas shoes walked around a corner and stood, one twisting to scratch a long calf.
“Can you hide me?” the yellow girl said. Of course she did.
“No,” I said, trying not to show how she startled me.
“I came for help, though. They said you could help.”
“Not with cops after you. Not here. Maybe get out of here and if it’s all just a misunderstanding I’ll deal with you later.”
She took as step toward me without asking, just took it like my person space was hers for the asking. “Mr. Banned. I’ll be seeing you,” saying it with a smile as she leaned up and kissed me on the cheek. She turned and left and I heard the mother gasp as she left.
I called Parker and told him I just saw her going north down Main Street. He thanked me and I went back to the window that faced south and saw the yellow scarf disappear in the trees.